Montreal-based Innodem Neurosciences has received $1 million from angel, banking, and government entities to begin commercializing Pigio™, its first mobile app.
Pigio™ uses AI-powered mobile software technology to allow paralyzed or intubated patients to communicate with eye movements. The app will be marketed to local Montreal hospitals and is set to be deployed in the US at a Boston, Massachusetts hospital, as well as healthcare facilities in California. “We have also been contacted by a healthcare giant in China with a footprint of 1500 hospitals” added Innodem’s co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Marc Reeves.
Pigio™ uses patent-pending image-processing technology to capture eye movements with high precision, using the standard cameras found on most electronic tablets and smartphones. This process allows patients to move the cursor across a tablet or smartphone’s screen to a desired location using only their eye movements. Simply looking at an item on the screen for a certain amount of time triggers a text-to-speech engine, which produces an audible output.
Pigio™’s initial focus is to provide an innovative and accessible way for the most vulnerable patients to communicate, ultimately improving patient care and quality of life. Subsequent applications of the technology based on state-of-the-art machine learning will assist healthcare professionals in detecting unique and subtle eye movement signatures found in several neurological disorders such as stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), or multiple sclerosis. “Eye movement data can be used as sensitive biomarkers to assist healthcare professionals in detecting several neurodegenerative illnesses prior to the onset of more pronounced symptoms”, says Innodem founder and CEO Dr. Etienne de Villers Sidani. “The interesting thing with AI is that the more data we collect, the more accurate Pigio™ will become at identifying individuals with disorders and tracking their progression. Such a technology could be extremely valuable to many physicians and to pharmaceutical companies designing novel treatments”.